Name: The King Has Left the Building... With Amnesia.
Limited to 100 numbered, spiral bound copies
Cost: $25.00, available as a PDF from Jeffs site
I had pre-ordered the hard copy version of this book before Jeff announced he would be offering it as an ebook, I don't regret purchasing the paper version. Jeff has done an excellent job with crediting, something often overlooked as magicians rush to put things in print. Additionally, the illustrations by Reis O'Brien are outstanding, detailed illustrations can make or break a book, these are wonderful.
Jeff Pierce has put together a collection of material he has obviously audience tested throughout the years, some of the material is more commercial than the rest, but the variety included means there is something for everyone. I offer now the notes I made as I read through the book, tried material on unsuspecting audiences, and toyed with the effects during small sessions with fellow magicians.
Empowerment - A fun routine involving 2 spectators, this is an effect you've probably seen in various incarnations, Jeff provides a routine that allows both spectators to feel good about themselves. I classify the routine as a transference of magical powers from the magician to the spectator. I will use this routine sooner than later.
Twisting Dimensions - I felt this routine attempts to pack too much into a small space. It begins with a twisting routine, then into a transposition, and ends with a color change. I find it is possible to have too many effects in a single routine, I will not use this routine.
Visual Unlink - Jeff provides 3 rubberband effects in this book. Although I have a solid multiphase rubberband set I already use, the effects offered by Mr. Pierce are worthy of study. This is a cleverly crafted unlink phase to add to a routine, not a standalone piece, but put it in the middle of a routine and the discrepancy will fly by the best. I'll play with this routine.
Rubberband Split - Wonderful introduction to a rubberband set. Requires you be setup prior to approaching a group but the setup is easy and offers strong magic if you properly focus the attention. I will play with this one.
Shrinking Band - Nice easy get-ready, good visual melting away of a rubberband. I have my own interpretation of this effect but will play around with what is offered here.
Title effect - Well structured transposition. Jeff Pierce apparently likes routines that offer an opportunity for story-telling. Not necessarily my style, but the effect here is worthy of study and is very strong magic. This reminds me of Steve Freeman's Time Machine as published in Card College. I will continue to use Time Machine as I'm not much of a story teller.
Remove Viewing - Great ideas which could be used with wallet loading or other card to impossible locations.
Card Whisperer - A freely selected card is cut into the deck, the magician names the location of the card and the spectator finds the card at that location. Excellent effect which can be used as a lead in to some other effects nicely. This will be added sooner than later to my regular material.
What's Your Name - Mr. Pierce's handling of a Sankey routine. I think this would obviously be strongest with a little pre-show work so the first time you ask for the spectators name is at the denouement of the routine. I will dig up the Sankey reference and compare routines but likely add one of the two.
Light My Fire - Those who know me know I like offbeat material. This is one of those routines, although I would change a few pieces should I ever perform it, or start smoking. It's a well structured routine using a cigarette lighter with a nice unexpected ending. Simple to perform, and interesting even without the accompanying story.
An Open Connection - Open prediction. I wish I had remembered this the other night. I have toyed with several versions of the effect but never found one I kept. This could be the one. If you are familiar with the plot, this routine offers a slight variation but one I propose is equally magical. I will use this.
Four the Hard Way - Think Williamson's Torn and Restored Transposition with
4 spectators. I love the routine this stemmed from, and I like this one as much. Any time you tear a card into pieces people sit up and pay attention.
This offers some strong magic for every person in a small group, worthy of your attention.
The Substitute - Copper-Silver done without the requisite coins. Once again, I am a lover of off beat material. This routine isn't technically demanding, isn't hard to prepare, and offers an opportunity for some excellent table magic. I will use this effect.
I didn't mention every effect offered in the book, but did include a wide range of material, some I felt was strong, some I would change, and some I won't perform. Most of the effects I left out I didn't find would fit my style or for whatever reason, didn't catch my eye as I read through the book. As you can see, I found more than one routine I will quickly add to my performing repertoire, something I can't say about all the books I've purchased this year. The vast majority of the material doesn't require difficult sleight of hand, but you should be comfortable handling an audience.
Recommended - 3.75/5 Tally Ho's